Self-Soothing Using Your Sense of Hearing

Certain sounds can soothe us. Listening to gentle music, for example, may be relaxing. In fact, this entire chapter was written while listening to classical music. However, each one of us has our own tastes. You have to find what works best for you. Use these examples to identify the sounds that help you relax. Check (…) the ones you’re willing to do, and then add any activities that you can think of:

(…) Listen to soothing music. This can be classical, opera, oldies, new age, Motown, jazz, Celtic, African, or anything else that works for you. It might be music with singing or without. Go to a music store that lets you listen to music before you buy it, and listen to a wide variety of genres to determine what helps you relax. If you have a portable radio or an MP3 player, carry it with you to listen to music when you’re away from home.

(…) Listen to books on your phone or laptop. Many public libraries will let you borrow books on CD, or you also find many books for free on the internet. Take some out to see if it helps you relax. You don’t even have to pay attention to the story line. Sometimes just listening to the sound of someone talking can be very relaxing. Again, keep some of these recordings with you in your car or loaded in your portable stereo.

(…) Turn on the television and just listen. Find a show that’s boring or sedate, not something like Jerry Springer that’s just going to get you angry. Sit in a comfortable chair or lie down, and then close your eyes and just listen. Make sure you turn the volume down to a level that’s not too loud. Years ago there was a show on public television featuring a painter named Bob Ross. His voice was so soothing and relaxing that many people reported falling asleep while watching him. Find a show like this that will help you relax.

(…) Listen to a gentle talk show on the radio. Remember—a gentle talk show, not something that’s going to make you upset or angry. Stay away from political talk shows and the news. Find something neutral in discussion, like Car Talk on National Public Radio or a gardening show. Again, sometimes just listening to someone else talk can be relaxing. Carry a portable radio / your phone with you to listen to when you’re feeling upset or angry.

(…) Open your window and listen to the peaceful sounds outside. Or, if you live in a place without relaxing sounds outside, go visit a place with relaxing sounds, such as a park.

(…) Listen to a recording of nature sounds, such as birds and other wildlife. You can often buy these in a music store and then take them with you to listen to on your portable compact disc player, cassette player, or MP3 device.

(…) Listen to a white-noise machine. White noise is a sound that blocks out other distracting sounds. You can buy a machine that makes white noise with circulating air, or you can turn on a fan to block out distracting sounds. Other white-noise machines have recorded sounds on them, such as the sounds of birds, waterfalls, and rain forests. Many people find these machines very relaxing. Listen to the sound of a personal water fountain. These small electronic fountains can be bought in most department stores, and many people find the sound of the trickling water in their homes to be very soothing.

(…) Listen to a recording of a relaxation exercise. Exercises such as these will help you imagine yourself relaxing in many different ways. Other recorded exercises can even teach you self-hypnosis techniques to help you relax. Recordings like these can be bought at some bookstores and online at self-help publishers, such as New Harbinger Publications. Go to and look under “Audio Programs.” Then you can take the programs with you to listen to when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

(…) Listen to the sound of rushing or trickling water. Maybe your local park has a waterfall, or the nearby mall has a fountain. Or maybe just sit in your bathroom with the water running.

(…) Other ideas: _____________________________________________________



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